Yesterday after finishing up dinner Little G got to have some ice cream since he ate really good. We buy these 12 packs of single serving ice cream by Bluebell that has 6 chocolate and 6 vanilla cups in it and usually Dave or I will split it with the little one. You would think that the chocolate would be his favorite but he's all about the vanilla ones.
Yesterday I was the one sharing the ice cream and I let the first bit kind of slowly melt in my mouth and the taste and idea of it being "vanilla" made me think back to a time back in high school. I was of course one of the band kids and usually about 2 weeks before school started band practice started from 8-12 Monday thru Friday. Of course, once I could drive, my two best friends and I would always go to this little shed like looking house on the other side of town and get shaved ice. I say shaved ice because if I say snowcone people invision those pointed cups with hard little ice nodules that crunched when you ate them and had generic flavors. No, shaved ice was served in a styrafoam cup and you actually watched them shave this huge ice cube into the cup and then shape the ice slivers into a ball, just like you would with snow. Then there were the flavors, at least 50 to choose from.
One of my friends and I would usually try a different flavor each time we went, him the sweeter ones like cotton candy, bubble gum or blue rasberry and me the tarter or just different flavors like mai tai and cinnamon. Our other friend would ALWAYS pick vanilla, and we would always give him a hard time because of course back then when someone would say vanilla the first thing that would always come to my mind was boring and bland. There was nothing exciting about vanilla, and when we would tease him he would just smile and humor us and our antics.
I thought about him yesterday and his vanilla and how it really isn't that bland of a flavor at all. It's a staple to almost any baking recipe, if there is something lacking flavor wise some measurement of a teaspon will usually so the trick. It's like vanilla is the perfect balance of sweet. It has this sugary sweet taste but at the same time it's smooth and not harsh.
So yesterday, when I was half teasing my son asking if he wanted chocolate ice cream or vanilla , exagerating the word chocolate and he kept tell me, "No momma, 'nilla" I just sort of smiled to myself and thought about my friend who always had that smile as if he held some secret, some knowledge that only he could understand. Thinking back on it yesterday I think he did.
Get thee to an independent bookstore.
2 days ago